Emotional Changes During Puberty

Dr Nihara KrauseDr Nihara Krause

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Dr Nihara Krause, Consultant Clinical Psychologist

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Puberty is a time of physical and emotional change that happens when children grow and mature.Cramps

This doesn’t just mean getting your period. A number of psychological changes in adolescence also mean that the way you think and feel changes.

It means gaining independence, developing your own thoughts, building confidence, and becoming a great leader, friend, and daughter – in short, a great you!

You’ve likely read up a whole bunch about the changes happening to your body during puberty. But what about the emotional changes during puberty? Not only is your body growing up, but your brain is, too.

You’ll undergo a bunch of emotional changes in adolescence. This means lots of changes in how you think and feel about yourself and the world around you.

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What are some emotional changes during puberty

Here are some of the emotional changes during puberty and how to handle them:

  1. Experiencing mood swings

    Mood swings can be a part of growing up. One minute you feel like you’re on cloud nine, and the next you feel like you want to scream your head off. Your body is being rushed with a whole bunch of new hormones that create a host of emotional changes during puberty. It can feel hard to keep up.

    It’s a great time to practice expressing your feelings and your emotional needs. Instead of lashing out, talk about how you feel. Maybe consider keeping a journal to help organize your thoughts and feelings.

  2. Feeling differently about your peers

    An important part of the mental changes that occur during adolescence is starting to look at your relationships differently. This can mean forming deeper, more emotional bonds with friends. Friends are people that you can confide in, not just someone to play with like they were when you were younger.

    Practice being a good friend by being reliable and trustworthy. This can also help build your confidence and sense of self.

    Feeling differently about your peers can also mean developing romantic feelings for a certain someone.

  3. Becoming more sensitive to the world around you

    This means gaining perspective about people and events beyond yourself. An important psychological change during adolescence is getting a better grasp on the world around you.

  4. Feeling overly sensitive

    One of the more difficult emotional changes in adolescence is feeling your feelings very intensely. Increased awareness of your surroundings, increased hormones, social pressures to fit in – it can all turn your feelings up to max volume.

    You may find yourself become sad or irritable at the drop of a hat. Take deep breaths to calm yourself. Take some alone time if you need it. And remember to positively communicate what you feel and what you need from others around you.

    Constructive communication (i.e. without yelling, shouting, or tantrums) will make these emotions feel more manageable. If you want help from a professional to help sort out your feelings, speak to a parent or trusted adult about setting that up.

  5. Feeling self-conscious

    You may also feel self-conscious about your changing body. This is normal. We know it can be hard to accept a changing body at a time when fitting in with your peers feels so important.

    Everyone feels self-conscious at some point or another. Don’t let it get you down. Practice a little self-love. Look in the mirror every day and find something you can compliment yourself on.

  6. Peer pressure

    As you move through adolescence, your peer group will start taking on increased importance in your life.

    This can lead to peer pressure. That’s when friends and others your age may try to convince you to participate in certain activities in order to fit in – whether that’s dressing a certain way, talking a certain way, or engaging in activities that may seem risky.

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Practicing confidence

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It helps you improve your abilities and find new solutions to problems. Practice makes you powerful!

The best thing to do to help the emotional changes during puberty is to practice confidence. Confidence is something that is built up and strengthened with a little time and a little practice.

Adolescence is the time for positive self-talk. Puberty is a great time to give your brain a workout by practicing confidence and trying new things.

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Other ways of coping

  1. Take up a sport or physical activity

    Sports are a great confidence booster and a great stress reliever. That’s a double win when you’re going through the emotional changes of puberty.

  2. Keep a journal

    Getting your thoughts out of your head and on to paper can calm the emotional storm that you sometimes feel. Keeping a journal can also be a great way of organising your thoughts and feelings.

  3. Talk to your parents

    They’ve been through adolescence themselves and likely can give you some great guidance. Don’t be afraid to share with them what’s going on with you. They can be a great resource.

  4. Learn about the changes happening in your body

    Knowing what’s happening in your body and what changes to expect can help you prepare.

    Knowing what to expect and that the changes you’re experiencing are normal can help you feel less self-conscious and sensitive. Knowledge is power.

Now that you have tips to stay confident, go out and enjoy this journey. You have limitless possibilities ahead of you!

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